Thursday 17th October - AthertonAnother warm day reaching only 34.4 and last night was a cool 16.4. Cool nights and warm days seem to be the go here currently. Certainly not as hot as yesterday. Today we did the touristy thing. The plan is to go to Yungaburra and Lake Eacham. On the way you go past fields of vegetables. The soil is so red. The first stop was in the Curtain Fig Tree National Park. This Fig Tree is over 500 years old and is really beautiful. There is a board walk that is about 600m long and I did this with the aid of my wheelie walker. It's very well done for wheel chairs or for people with a dis-ability. It's a circular track so you don't track back on yourself. Next it was off to Yungaburra. This is a pretty little town that is 'Home of the Afghanistan Avenue of Honour'. The main street has plant holders filled with potted hanging plants that gives it colour. The main building in town is huge. This is the Yungaburra Hotel that was built in 1910. A short drive from Yungaburra is Lake Tinaroo. They are preparing for some land blocks that will front the lake and be available for sale. Prices from $155,000.00. The area around Lake Tinaroo is well set up for day use. This is also where the memorial is and the Avenue of Honour. From here it was off to the Crater Lakes National Park - the Lake Eacham section anyway. When you enter this park it's basically a single lane road. It's a popular place with many people swimming. Clive says it has changed a lot since he was here many years ago. Certainly more touristy now. There is also a walking track that circumnavigates the lake for those who enjoy a walk. Now back to the van park. Clive noticed a sign that said Hallorans Hill, so decided to detour. I didn't realise that we were so close to it from the van park. So off we go, driving upwards again. There are beautiful views looking out across farmlands. There is a building up here that must have cost a fortune to build but again, like the one at Flagstaff Hill in Bowen, it's just empty. While I went for my daily afternoon rest, Clive went and did some shopping. On the way back he went for a drive to the Chinese Gardens. It was closed but there was a side gate open, so he went in for a walk around. The main entrance and associated Art Gallery is housed in what appears to be the old Post Office building. The Chinese were attracted to North Queensland in the late 1800's by the prospect of gold. When the gold ran out they turned to timber cutting and market gardening. The remains of Atherton's Chinatown are now an archaeological site that is open to the public. It features the fully restored Hou Wang Temple as the place of worship. There is also a pig oven, community hall and kitchen. Along Fong On Road, the main pathway, are casts of items used by the Chinese, set on slate pillars. This historical site is well worth a look at, as the information boards spread throughout the site, descriptively tell of the Chinese way of life. From here it was a drive beside the Atherton Rail Trails. Now this would be a walk that Clive would like to do. It looks like they have pulled up the old railway line and now people use this as the walking or running track. Something for him for the next visit. A lovely sunset tonight and Clive managed to get some pictures. More Web Page Pictures
Wednesday 16th October - AthertonWell today was really hot. Down to 16.4 last night but upto 35.5 today, with very little breeze. Last night we tried the air con on with fan only to move the air around and that was quite good. When I awoke it was so hot that Clive said we'll put the air con on, and see how it goes. So, this is the first time since leaving the Gold Coast we have used the air conditioner on cold. It was 31 degrees inside the van and after about 30 minutes it had dropped it to 29. It then got down to 28.5 where it sat for the rest of the day, until 5pm when a cool breeze came up. At 5.30pm we turned it off and opened all the windows up, and it's now lovely and cool. We were planning on going out for a drive , but it was so pleasant in the van we decided not to. There's always another day. We've decided to stay here another day, so won't leave until Friday now. It's nice and peaceful here, as there are only three vans all up currently.